Abilities (Japanese: とくせい special characteristic) are a game mechanic introduced in Generation III that provide a passive effect in battle or in the overworld. Individual Pokémon may have only one Ability at a time. Prior to Generation VI, an Ability could not be changed after a Pokémon is obtained except by evolution, where the Ability it changes into is determined by the former Ability and form change. Not every Ability is beneficial; some will hinder the user.
Some species of Pokémon may have multiple Abilities. Pokémon caught in the wild will have one of two possible Abilities, and there is a 50% chance of encountering either. In terms of game data, these Abilities may be thought of as being stored in separate slots (i.e. Munna has Forewarn in the first slot and Synchronize in the second).
The only way a Pokémon can normally change its Ability is upon evolution. The "slot" storage system means that if an unevolved Pokémon has the "first" Ability for its species, it will have the "first" Ability of its evolved species upon reaching this stage, even if this Ability differs in the evolved species. In other words, a Poochyena with Run Away would evolve into a Mightyena with Intimidate, while a Poochyena with Quick Feet would evolve into a Mightyena with Quick Feet. If the unevolved Pokémon has only one Ability, but its evolution may have one of two Abilities, then it has a 50% chance of acquiring either Ability (dependent on its personality value). Generation VI introduced the Ability Capsule, which allows the user to change a Pokémon's Ability, under two conditions: the current Ability is not a Hidden Ability, and the species has two regular Abilities. It is consumed after use.
When Abilities were introduced in Generation III, some Pokémon only had one possible Ability. A number of these species were given a second Ability in Generation IV; upon transfer forward with Pal Park, a Pokémon affected by this change will keep its Generation III Ability unless it evolves, in which case the Ability will be recalculated.
Some Abilities also have effects outside of battle.
- Main article: List of Pokémon with released Hidden Abilities (Generation V)
- Main article: List of Pokémon with released Hidden Abilities (Generation VI)
- Where possible, all Pokémon obtained from the Pokémon Global Link, either via the Pokémon Dream World or a Global Link promotion, will always have their Hidden Ability.
- Certain event Pokémon may have their Hidden Ability.
- Pokémon obtained from the Pokémon Dream Radar will have their respective Hidden Abilities.
- Two instances of Pokémon found in-game in Black and White (the five Darmanitan in the Desert Resort and the Musharna found every Friday in the Dreamyard) have their Hidden Ability.
- Pokémon found in Pokémon Black and White 2's Hidden Grottos will always have their Hidden Ability, as do certain other interactable Pokémon in the game.
- Horde Encounters may have a Pokémon with a Hidden Ability.
- Pokémon found in a Friend Safari have a small chance of having a Hidden Ability. That chance increases if the registered friend associated with the Safari is online.
If a female Pokémon has a Hidden Ability and is bred, it has a 60% chance of giving that Ability to each of its children. Each of the other Abilities has a 20% chance of being passed down. In Generation V, Hidden Abilities cannot be passed down from male or genderless Pokémon, or when breeding with Ditto. In Generation VI, this was changed so that male and genderless Pokémon have the chance to pass down their Hidden Ability only when bred with Ditto.
Abilities and breeding
The mechanics of which Ability is acquired upon hatching a Pokémon Egg (in instances when a hatched Pokémon may have one of two Abilities) varies from game to game. In all games up to and including Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, a Pokémon hatched from an Egg has a 50% chance of acquiring either Ability.
However, starting from Pokémon Black and White, there is an 80% chance of the resulting offspring having the same "slotted" Ability as its mother and hence a 20% chance of the other Ability being passed down as long as the other parent is not Ditto.
List of Abilities
In Pokémon Conquest
- Main article: List of Abilities in Pokémon Conquest
While most Pokémon species in Pokémon Conquest have access to three Abilities (similar to the main series, Hidden Abilities included), many of these Abilities are different from the main series due to differences in the battle system. For example, Abilities like Cute Charm and Rivalry do not exist in Pokémon Conquest (due to the game's lack of a gender mechanic), while other Abilities utilize mechanics unique to Pokémon Conquest battles (like "Sprint", which increases the user's movement Range).
Like the main series, an individual Pokémon's Ability is dictated by its current species (i.e. evolutionary form) and may change during evolution.
In the anime
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Abilities have been shown in the anime, but are usually only used in battles; however, sometimes they have an effect on the plot, such as Ash's Infernape's Blaze. At one point in Gotta Catch A Roggenrola!, Iris pointed out that Roggenrola had the Ability Sturdy, implying that Roggenrola would receive less damage than a Pokémon normally would. In Showdown At Linoone, a Linoone has the Ability Pickup and takes items to its private stash, including May's Poké Balls.
Abilities were shown to work differently in the anime than they would in the games, such as Mold Breaker where it would cancel out any Ability instead of the ones that would prevent the user from using any moves as seen in Shapes of Things to Come! where Cranidos activated it to stop Elekid from activating Static. This was repeated again in O'er the Rampardos We Watched! but this time with Rampardos and Pikachu.
In the TCG
Abilities under the name of Abilities did not appear in the Trading Card Game until the Black & White expansion kicking off Generation V. However, this was merely a renaming of the longstanding Pokémon Powers. Pokémon Powers were very similar to Abilities, but were introduced much earlier, appearing in the very first Base Set during Generation I. In fact, some Abilities from the games originally appeared as Pokémon Powers.
With the introduction of the Expedition Base Set, Pokémon Powers were split into two groups: Poké-Powers and Poké-Bodies. Poké-Powers are special effects that the player must trigger or announce using. A Poké-Body's effect is a passive Ability that is always in effect. When Pokémon Powers became Abilities, these distinctions were done away with.
In the manga
In the Pokémon Adventures manga
| This section contains old or outdated information, or has not been updated in a while. Please check the content of this section and update it as required. |
Specifically, it needs an update to the second trivia point to factor in Generation VI.
- The unused Ability Cacophony was included in the coding for third-generation games as Ability #076 (Air Lock was #077). From the fourth generation, Cacophony was removed and Air Lock was renumbered as #076, with the new Abilities positioned from #077 onward.
- As of Generation V, excluding Hidden Abilities, there are 106 Pokémon (just under one-sixth of the total) who have unique Ability combinations.
In other languages
|This article is part of Project Moves and Abilities, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on two related aspects of the Pokémon games.|